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Surinam Toad (Pipa pipa)

A.K.A. Star-Fingered ToadsDescription:

Surinam Toads have flat, wide bodies with a triangular head and resemble a leaf. They are brown or tan in color. Males can reach up to 4-6 inches, while females are larger, ranging from 6-8 inches in length. These toads can live from 8-11 years if taken care of properly.

Habitat and Tank Requirements:

This species is native to the Amazon. They are do well with plenty of live plants, wood and rocks. They are almost entirely aquatic, so their tanks should have plenty of water as well as dry land.

Approximately 1/2 of their tank should be water. You can either use an under-gravel filtration system or clean the water every 2-3 days. If you decide to go with a filter, use common sense: a pump that is too small will leave the water dirty, while a too-powerful pump with filter out the microorganisms needed to maintain a healthy pH.

Be sure there are no openings in the tank through which the toad can escape. A hole large enough for a toad to stick its head out of is large enough for it to escape.

Surinam Toads can be kept in groups of 2 in a 20-30 gallon tank, however, as with all frogs and toads, do not keep different species of frogs and toads in the same tank. There is a risk of disease and parasites being spread between species, even if the carrier frog or toad does not show any symptoms.

The comfortable temperature range for these toads is 80-83º F. LEDs or other low-wattage light bulbs work best for maintaining these temperatures.


Surinam Toads will feed on small crickets, fruit flies, mealworms, wax worms, and any other insect small enough for them to ingest as well as fish and brine shrimp. These toads feed while in the water. It is recommended that food be dusted with calcium to prevent bone softening.


Allow your toad time to become accustomed to its new home before handling them extensively. Handling them little by little over a period of time lets the animal get used to you and reduces stress.